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Healthy City Lecture Series


Admission requirements

This course is available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme and to a limited amount of external students.

Because of the limited capacity of this course, students from the BA Urban Studies always have priority. Students from any other programme than the BA Urban Studies must contact the Coordinator of Studies to see whether there are places left. If there are no places left, you may be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list will be cleared according to the amount of places left after the Urban Studies students have been placed and to the position on the waiting list.


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a healthy city as “one that continually creates and improves its physical and social environments and expands the community resources that enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential.”
This course addresses all aspects of health (physical, mental, and social) of individuals living in cities, as well as the question if and how cities can improve their inhabitants’ health. It focuses on the health of the urban community, individual health in the urban context, and (preventive) interventions aimed at improving health in the urban context, from different scientific perspectives (i.e., the psychologal, epidemiological, educational, sociological, and humanities perspectives).

Examples of factors that negatively impact health and occur more frequently in cities, are low socio-economic status, crowding, environmental chaos, and unhealthy living conditions. Such risk factors have individually been associated with adverse physical, mental, and social health outcomes. In urban environments, these risk factors often cluster together, which may very well aggravate health outcomes, as well as complicate the search for meaningful interventions. This is why the issue of health in urban settings needs an interdisciplinary and contextual approach.

This course will focus on (combinations of) risk factors and adverse health outcomes which are more prevalent in urban settings compared to rural settings. Issues regarding the identification and targeting of specific at-risk groups will be discussed, but we will also pay attention to the specific opportunities for interventions provided by urban settings, such as neighborhoods, existing health facilities, and recreational facilities. The Healthy City Lecure Series aims to merge all these different views of urban health in order to broaden perspectives and to set students up to take different perspectives into account when (collaboratively) developing (preventive) interventions to improve or optimize urban health.

Course objectives

General learning outcomes

See tab Additional information for the overview of the programme's general learning outcomes. In the assessment methods below is outlined which general learning outcome will be tested through which method.

Course objectives, pertaining to this course

The Healthy City course objectives are:

  • 1) To gain insight into health issues in an urban context

  • 2) To understand different perspectives on health in the urban context

  • 3) To learn about different (preventive) health interventions currently in place in urban settings

  • 4) To understand the conditions and pitfalls of introducing and executing health interventions in urban settings

  • 5) To gain insight into the role of indivduals (including their social and cultural backgrounds) in promoting urban health


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Assessment method


  • Midterm exam
    Take home assignment with essay questions
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 5, 8-9, 11, 13-15, 21, 26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-4

  • Final exam
    Written examination with essay questions
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-5, 9, 14-16, 21
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-5


Partial grade Weighing
Midterm Exam 40%
Final Exam 60%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the midterm exam grade and final exam grade.

  • The weighted average of the midterm exam grade and the final exam grade needs to be 5.50 or higher.


If the grade for the midterm or the final exam is lower than 5.50, there is a possibility of correcting the feedback provided on the midterm take-home assignment and/or retaking the final examination, replacing the previous grade(s).

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.

Reading list

Book chapters, governance & administration-based articles, and/or opinion-based and scientific articles provided by the lecturers through Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. S.C.J. Huijbregts

Dr. S.M.C. van der Veek